CRM deployments can suffer a variety of setbacks. One of the most common setbacks is poor adoption, usage, by the sales team.
Over the last several years, marketing has risen above its traditional standing in the CRM world, which had been low man on the totem pole. Marketing historically was the “other” technology that existed outside of CRM. Poorly understood and generally operating outside of the framework of the core CRM, marketing automation as a technology solution was even further from the core. Today, marketing automation solutions, those that combine email marketing, web analytics and other channels such as social media, are adding tremendous value to traditional CRM deployments and, more so than ever, have the attention of the C-suite.
Why all the sudden attention? In a word: Economy. The economic environment over the last 3 years has forced companies to re-think their sales and marketing alignment. Gone are the days of large telesales and inside sales teams supporting field reps working small geographies. Today, companies are laser focused on building efficient and cost effective lead to sales models and technology like marketing automation fully supports this.
Solutions like SalesFUSION have focused virtually all of their development efforts on embedding demand generation technology and processes into CRM because this provides a significant financial benefit to most companies. Furthermore, for those CRM deployments that may be languishing or suffering from poor adoption, adding marketing automation to the mix can jumpstart and invigorate the sales and executive teams to fully leverage the CRM investment. Here are five ways adding marketing automation to your CRM can save a troubled deployment.
1. Getting sales excited about CRM – You would be hard pressed to find a sales person who doesn’t get excited about having leads delivered to them on a silver platter. SalesFUSION’s lead analyzer scores and then routes leads to reps based on rules created through marketing/sales collaboration. Email alerts are generated and sent to sales reps when leads meet certain criteria. Reps get leads sent to their inbox with information about how the lead came to the website and what they did when they got there. A quick link allows the reps to open the lead in CRM from the email. This simple functionality gets sales excited about lead generation and dramatically reduces follow up time by the reps. Catching leads when they are “hot” ensures better conversion to qualified status in CRM.
2. Bringing Marketing and Sales together – when implementing marketing automation , there’s a lot more than simple bulk email marketing involved. Marketing and sales will collaborate on processes for scoring inbound leads. This collaboration forces marketing and sales to work closely together and define better processes that will keep the CRM system clean. Process improvements stemming from this collaboration will lead to a better CRM deployment overall.
3. Keeping your CRM database clean and efficient – Marketing automation solutions like SalesFUSION act like a traffic cop for lead flow into Dynamics. The marketing database is often used as a lead staging area where leads are marketed to and nurtured to a point at which they become “Sales-ready”. Only then does the system move the lead into CRM. This methodology keeps the CRM uncluttered with suspects and ensures the sales team is only working the highest value leads. Your CRM database size is also reduced which, in a cloud-based CRM model, can reduce your costs.
4. Improving lead conversion – SalesFUSION will gather vital marketing information in the form of campaign response, website visit activity, and more and append this information to the lead and/or contact records in Dynamics. This information is at the fingertips of sales when they are alerted/tasked to follow up with a high-value lead. Sales then has the ability to quickly view the contextual history to get a clear picture of what the lead may be interested in based on the pages viewed/website download/email responses contained in the record history. This makes that first critical phone call more effective and increases lead conversion.
5. ROI on marketing and lead generation. SalesFUSION connects the leads generated from campaigns and the cost of acquiring those leads, to the opportunity entity in CRM. This allows the C-suite of a company to stop throwing darts at a board with respect to marketing spend and pinpoint exactly how, where, and why they should spend valuable (and shrinking) marketing dollars.
So marketing technologies have evolved far beyond email blasting solutions (that’s so 2005) and provide value that can directly impact the performance, adoption, and ROI of your CRM system.
As marketing automation continues to evolve, solutions like